Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prosecutor Flouts Illinois Gun Law; He Says He Won't Pursue Concealed-Carry Cases in McLean County; PUBLIC SAFETY

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Prosecutor Flouts Illinois Gun Law; He Says He Won't Pursue Concealed-Carry Cases in McLean County; PUBLIC SAFETY

Article excerpt

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Despite a statewide ban on concealed weapons, gun owners in one central Illinois county don't need to worry about facing charges because its top prosecutor is refusing to enforce a law he considers unconstitutional.

Illinois is the only state that still bans residents from carrying concealed guns. McLean County State's Attorney Ronald Dozier calls the law antiquated and said Wednesday that he hoped his policy against prosecuting harmless violations would send a message.

"I felt like I just wanted to make a statement to the Legislature," said Dozier, a retired judge who was appointed state's attorney in December and plans to step down in October.

And legal experts say he's completely within his rights.

As a prosecutor, Dozier has the power to decide which cases he will and won't pursue, though it is unusual to publicly announce that a whole class of offenses is off the table, American University law professor Angela Davis said.

Also rare is basing that decision on the prosecutor's own opinion that a law is invalid, she said. …

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